To soil or not to soil

Tue. Feb. 13, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  To soil or not to soil

There are so many soils and soilless mixes on the market, which do you choose for repotting or potting your new plants?

soil, perlite, fish emulsion

What’s the function of soil aka potting media?

  • to anchor the roots
  • provide nutrients to your plant
  • offer good drainage

Ideally your mix will be part pasteurized soil, organic matter like compost or peat moss and drainage material like perlite or coarse sand.  This mix works for MOST plants.  There are variations to this mix depending on the plant.  The cactus needs better drainage, so the mix would have more perlite or coarse sand in it.

Soilless mixes are lighter and almost always used for seed starting.  Seeds need no nutrients from soil to sprout, they carry all they need within them.  Orchids are an example of plants that use a soilless mix.  Be sure to check your plants preferences or ask the staff at your local nursery what would work best!

Don’t use soil from your garden for houseplants, it doesn’t drain as well and you don’t know what nutrients it does or doesn’t have!